France’s former colonies is to have it withdraw its 240,000 troops from West Africa, end the exploitation of the mineral and natural resources of the region, and treat and close up the hazardous uranium mines no longer in use.
The people of Africa want their resources invested in education, health, water treatment and economic development. The continent’s young people also want an end to American military presence. Africom, the United States Africa Command has established a ring of military bases in at least 20 countries.
Increasingly, Africans are united in the belief that they live in the 21st century and not the 19th. Much of the resentment flows from this realisation. Another point of departure is that France and the USA are no longer viewed as the powerhouses they once were.
We no longer live in a unipolar world. China and Russia offer options that were not available before. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa constitute a powerful bloc that threatens the economic dominance of the US.
These developments do not yet constitute a radical break from the old order. The rich and powerful still have influence and heft, not to mention tricks. What is certain is that the African continent has taken centre stage in its attempts to throw off backwardness and move forward to social and economic progress and development.